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PEOPLE compiled by

Susan Drinkard


“What do think about the changes occurring in Sandpoint area related to construction and growth?” “I find it a little disappointing to see some of the growth in Sandpoint mostly because we are losing our green spaces. I especially think of the loss of the area on Boyer where the Extension office was. I could take my children there and they could ride bikes. Also, just driving by there provided a sense of peace and calm.” January Manning Mother North of Sandpoint

“You probably can’t control it completely. I think we have to do careful urban planning. Part of me would like to see it stay the same, but it’s a free market.” Dan Wildish Real estate attorney California and Sagle “I think obviously growth brings tourism and helps the economy of the area.” Parker McPherson Sandpoint High School senior soon to go on a mission for Latter-day Saints Sagle

“It’s natural with so many people moving to the area there will be greater demand for housing, but growth should be controlled so Sandpoint doesn’t lose the qualities that make it so exceptional.” Eve Rossmiller Writer Sandpoint

“It’s good to see the growth, but the prices have gone out of control and it’s difficult for people to find affordable housing.” Alice Vroman Retired Sandpoint


I hope everyone had a great Memorial Day weekend out there. It’s a time of fun and relaxation, but more importantly, this past weekend is also a time to remember those who paid the ultimate price for our country. Thank you to all servicemembers who have given their lives in the performance of their military duties. On this week’s cover is a photo by News Editor Lyndsie Kiebert of a cool new mural painted on Foster’s Crossing by a traveling street artist named Muck Rock. Check out the story on Page 17. It looks like we’ve launched right into summer with these 90-degree days lately. This is just a reminder for everyone enjoying our wilderness in the months ahead: Please make sure you drown your campfires when leaving them unattended and leave the space better than it was when you arrived. Leave no trace so that others can enjoy the outdoors without your dirty diapers, beer cans and Cheetos bags greeting them. Have fun out there. – Ben Olson, publisher

READER 111 Cedar Street, Suite 9 Sandpoint, ID 83864 (208)265-9724

www.sandpointreader.com Publisher: Ben Olson ben@sandpointreader.com Editorial: Zach Hagadone (Editor) zach@sandpointreader.com Lyndsie Kiebert (News Editor) lyndsie@sandpointreader.com Cameron Rasmusson (emeritus) John Reuter (emeritus) Advertising: Jodi Berge Jodi@sandpointreader.com Contributing Artists: Lyndsie Kiebert (cover), Ben Olson, Kate Luers, Susan Drinkard. Contributing Writers: Zach Hagadone, Ben Olson, Lyndsie Kiebert, Lorraine H. Marie, Jodi Rawson, Mike Satz, Brenden Bobby, Jim Mitsui, Amy Craven, Maureen Cooper, Jeannette Schandelmeier, Brenda Hammond, Marcia Pilgeram. Submit stories to: stories@sandpointreader.com Printed weekly at: Tribune Publishing Co. Lewiston, ID Subscription Price: $135 per year Web Content: Keokee The Sandpoint Reader is a weekly publication owned and operated by Ben Olson and Keokee. It is devoted to the arts, entertainment, politics and lifestyle in and around Sandpoint, Idaho. We hope to provide a quality alternative by offering honest, in-depth reporting that reflects the intelligence and interests of our diverse and growing community. The Reader is printed on recycled paper using soy-based ink. Leftover copies are collected and recycled weekly, or burned in massive bonfires to appease the gods of journalism. Free to all, limit two copies per person.

Sandpoint Reader letter policy: The Sandpoint Reader welcomes letters to the editor on all topics. Requirements: –No more than 300 words –Letters may not contain excessive profanity or libelous material. Please elevate the discussion. Letters will be edited to comply with the above requirements. Opinions expressed in these pages are those of the writers, not necessarily the publishers. Email letters to: letters@sandpointreader.com Check us out on the web at: www.sandpointreader.com Like us on Facebook. About the Cover

This week’s cover photo was taken by Reader News Editor Lyndsie Kiebert of a new mural at Foster’s Crossing painted by a traveling street artist named Muck Rock. June 3, 2021 /


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Two for two

By Zach Hagadone and Lyndsie Kiebert Reader Staff It’s been a long-simmering conflict over the Festival at Sandpoint’s no-weapons policy — first bubbling up at a Sandpoint City Council meeting in August 2019 as Second Amendment activists pushed back against the concert series’ ban on firearms, specifically, which they argued violated both state law and the U.S. Constitution. That complaint, spurred when area residents Scott Herndon and Jeff Avery were turned away at the gates of city-owned War Memorial Field because they refused to leave their guns in their vehicles, led to two lawsuits: one brought by Bonner County and Sheriff Daryl Wheeler, which Judge Lansing B. Haynes dismissed in September 2020 for lack of standing, and another from Herndon and Avery, supported by Boise-based gun lobby Idaho Second Amendment Alliance and the Bellevue, Wash.-based Second Amendment Foundation. A request for comment to ISAA President Greg Pruett, who visited Sandpoint in September 2019 to spread the word on his organization’s then-speculative lawsuit and raise money for its potential legal effort, went unanswered. As reported at the time, ISAA raised more than $10,000 to retain a lawyer to fight the Festival’s weapons policy. While the county’s case centered on public safety and sought legal clarity in order to coordinate the law enforcement response to a firearms incident at the field, the Herndon et al. case focused on whether the Festival — as a leaseholder — had the right to preempt firearms possession on publicly-owned property, which public entities are prohibited from doing per Idaho Code. Haynes presided over the Herndon et al. case, as well, 4 /


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issuing his ruling June 1 that, “There is nothing in the lease to the Festival that is in any way an exercise in governmental regulatory authority. There are no genuine issues of material fact as to whether the city has promulgated any rule or ordinance in conflict with I.C. l8-3302J [the firearms preemption portion of state law]; likewise, no genuine issues of fact exist as to whether the Festival has violated state law or any constitutional rights of plaintiffs.” Sandpoint Mayor Shelby Rognstad stated in a June 1 news release: “We are currently finalizing the permit with the Festival at Sandpoint for this year’s concert series and we look forward to the return of the Festival on the fully renovated War Memorial Field this summer. “The Festival is an event our community and visitors look forward to each and every year and it is an important economic driver for our community.” Reached for comment June 2, Festival officials told the Reader that while they’re glad the judge ruled as he did, they’re more focused on the upcoming concert series, which returns for eight nights of live music Thursday-Sunday, July 29-Aug. 1 and Aug. 5-8, after a one-year hiatus due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. While the decision marks the end of the suit for now, comments from the plaintiffs hint that the issue is far from over. Attorney Alexandria Kincaid told the Reader that her clients are “considering all options, including cumulative remedies.” “We may appeal this decision while simultaneously filing a new cause of action challenging the validity of the lease,” she continued in a June 1 email. “We are committed to continuing to challenge the erosion of Second Amendment rights in Idaho.” Herndon also emailed comment to the Reader following the decision, stating that he

Judge rules in favor of city of Sandpoint and Festival in second gun suit

Scott Herndon and other Second Amendment advocates attempt to gain entry to the Festival at Sandpoint in August 2019. Photo by Ben Olson. will continue to stand with the other plaintiffs “in any appeals or other actions, as every single one of our team is committed to upholding the God-given right of protecting ourselves and our families and resisting any erosion of those rights as codified in the Second Amendment and in the Idaho Constitution.” He said that if Haynes’ decision were “the last word,” then “preemption in Idaho means nothing, because, as this decision is written, any city or county in the state of Idaho could make a contract with a private party for any public property, public park, public sidewalk, label it a lease, and that private party can ban firearms on that property for the duration of the ‘lease.’” Judge Haynes ruled against the plaintiffs on all six of their claims, writing in the decision that, “Plaintiffs have engaged in impermissible contradictory positions by invoking the existence of the lease and also attacking the existence of the lease.” Haynes wrote that his decision intended to “safeguard the

orderly administration of justice, and ... the dignity of judicial proceedings. It is intended to prevent a litigant from playing fast and loose with the courts.” On the leaseholder powers argument, Haynes added that, “The fact that the leaseholder chooses to screen its attendees for firearms is a leaseholder prerogative and not the result of the city conveying the traditional governmental policing powers to the Festival. ... “The conduct of a music festival is in no way a traditional governmental function, and no evidence exists in this record that satisfies the public function test that would establish state action for defendants.” Regarding the constitutional arguments fronted by the plaintiffs, Haynes said an appeal to the Equal Protection Clause, “fails as a matter of law,” and, “Plaintiffs have presented no factual basis nor legal authority to support that they are members of a suspect or quasi-suspect class to be afforded special scrutiny or protection.

“Moreover, there is no evidence in this record to support plaintiffs’ claim that the defendants had, as a motivation for their actions, the intent to deprive plaintiffs of any constitutional right.” Finally, Haynes’ opinion sought to put the public-private lease conflict to rest, writing: “Plaintiffs misconstrue the nature of the city’s lease of [War Memorial Field] to the Festival. The city’s lease does not delegate firearms banning authority to the Festival; rather, the city simply leases [the field] to the Festival for the purpose of conducting a music festival. The city’s conveyance of a leasehold interest entitles the Festival to exclusive possession of the property.” The city of Sandpoint confirmed in its press release announcing the latest court decision that Bonner County had reimbursed the city the $71,206.55 ordered by Haynes following the first lawsuit regarding the Festival gun ban.


Clash at the top By Lyndsie Kiebert Reader Staff Idaho has seen no shortage of news at the intersection of politics and the pandemic, between endless critiques of the state’s coronavirus response to numerous COVID-related bills introduced during the 2021 session. The state’s news continued in that same vein during the last week of May, as Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin issued an executive order May 27 outlawing mask mandates across the state — an action immediately overturned by another executive order the next day by Gov. Brad Little, who returned from an out-of-state trip. In Idaho, the lieutenant governor serves as acting governor until the holder of that office returns to state soil. McGeachin’s order, which lasted about 24 hours, made it illegal for the state or its “political subdivisions” — including schools, public health boards, counties and cities — to require anyone to wear a mask. Masks mandates were still allowed in health care and long-term care facilities under the order. Little was not made aware of the order until after it was signed. In a May 28 statement addressed to “my fellow Idahoans,” Little shared his distaste for McGeachin’s actions and reiterated his support for local control over such decisions, stating that the

Gov. Brad Little and Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin exchange executive orders in mask mandate showdown

order ran “contrary to a basic conservative principle — the government closest to the people governs best.” “The action that took place while I was traveling this week is not gubernatorial,” Little said. “The action that took place was an irresponsible, self-serving political stunt.” McGeachin has already announced her candidacy for Idaho governor in the 2022 election, which would pit her against Little in the May 2022 Republican primary, should he seek another term. Little has not yet made an official announcement as to whether he will run. “Taking the earliest opportunity to act solitarily on a highly politicized, polarizing issue without conferring with local jurisdictions, legislators, and the sitting Governor is, simply put, an abuse of power,” Little continued in his May 28 release. “This kind of over-the-top executive action amounts to tyranny — something we all oppose.” In a June 1 interview with Little regarding the back-and-forth executive orders, Idaho Capital Sun reporter Clark Corbin asked the governor to characterize his relationship with the lieutenant governor, to which he replied: “It’s not as cordial as I wish it was … Civil, but maybe not cordial.” “It’s no secret it’s going to be a little tougher going forward,” he added, briefly noting that the executive order hullabaloo could affect his travel decisions in the future. The Idaho Capital Sun also reported that

Idaho Gov. Brad Little, left, and Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin, right. Courtesy photos. on a previous occasion that Little left Idahor, McGeachin “presided over a rally of the Real 3%ers of Idaho militia group on the Statehouse steps while she was acting governor.” “She then administered an oath to the group’s members to defend the Constitution,” the report continued. McGeachin made another appearance at the Statehouse steps following the reversal of her order, addressing a crowd of mask mandate protestors on June 1. According to Idaho Education News, she used the occasion to respond to the governor’s May 28 remarks. “I also wanted to offer some advice to our governor,” McGeachin said. “That choking out and poisoning tens of thousands of innocent children is not governing.” It appears that the debate over good

governing is far from over, especially with a possible Little v. McGeachin primary in the works next year. Little shared his two cents on leadership in his May 28 announcement that he’d be returning Idaho law to what it was before McGeachin’s order. “Let me offer some advice as Idaho’s duly elected Governor — governing in a silo is NOT governing,” Little said. “I am always reluctant to engage in political ploys, especially when I have been steadfast in meeting the simultaneous goals of protecting both lives and livelihoods. “I do not like petty politics,” he continued. “I do not like political stunts over the rule of law. However, the significant consequences of the Lt. Governor’s flimsy executive order require me to clean up a mess.”

City marks opening of new Memorial field parking lot, boat launch The upgraded War Memorial Field parking lot and boat launch opened on schedule and within budget May 28 — just in time for summertime recreation on the lake and activities on the field. According to the city of Sandpoint, the new ADA-accessible pathway to the waterfront is also now open, and an ADA-accessible non-motorized launch and boat wash station will be installed in July. Meanwhile, floating launch docks will not be in place until the lake is closer to full pool, which the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers estimates should happen in the second or third week of June. Work in the parking lot will continue over the next few weeks as the landscaping is completed and a permanent restroom facility is installed. The parking lot was designed to comply with the city’s landscape ordinance, and lights have been added to increase visibility and security. The new parking lot layout increases the number of car parking spots from 44 to 68, while boat trailer parking is increased to 22 spots — now set at a 45-degree angle for easier access. Stormwater collection and treatment has also been improved. Completion of the Memorial Field boat launch and parking lot marks a major milestone for the city, which funded a wide-ranging, years-long renovation of the field using a 1% Resort City Sales Tax approved by Sandpoint voters in 2015. The five-year tax ended Dec. 31, 2020. “This is a dream come true,” said Sandpoint Parks and Recreation Director Kim Woodward.

Photo by Ben Olson

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BoCo moves forward with $8.7 million solid waste loan By Lyndsie Kiebert Reader Staff Bonner County Solid Waste Director Bob Howard received official approval from the board of commissioners June 1 to ratify the signature and submission of a loan application to the U.S. Department of Agriculture for $8.7 million to fund an update of the county’s solid waste facilities. The request went over without much fuss during the board’s regular Tuesday business meeting, due in part to the extensive community discussion that’s already taken place surrounding the loan. Bonner County voters had the chance to approve or deny the county’s ability to apply for the loan on the May 18 ballot. Voters affirmed the special revenue bond, with about 61% voting in favor and 39% against the measure. The loan is the latest step in a multiyear effort to bring the county’s solid waste infrastructure into the 21st century. For instance, the undersized tipping floor at the Colburn waste transfer site — where all county trash is sorted and shipped out — is 25 years old, despite being built with

a “five-year life expectancy,” according to Howard. Such outdated facilities, combined with a rapidly increasing local population, have made the issue more pressing than ever, according to commissioners. Aside from building a new tipping floor, the $8.7 million will be used to pay for a complete overhaul of the Colburn site, as well as needed improvements to three other waste collection sites: Idaho Hill, Dickensheet and Dufort. All of these improvements come from suggestions found in the Bonner County Solid Waste 10-Year Capital Improvements Plan — a guide put forth by outside consultant Great West Engineering in 2019. The action will not result in a cost increase for taxpayers, seeing as commissioners raised solid waste fees by 62% in September 2019 in preparation for applying for the loan. According to Commissioner Dan McDonald, without that fee increase, the county would not have been able to receive the loan. At the previous rate, the county was “struggling to keep up with operating costs,” he said at an April 20 hearing on the ballot measure.

Council approves loosening leash laws

By Zach Hagadone Reader Staff

Sandpoint Council members approved an amendment to City Code on May 19 allowing dogs on-leash at a number of public properties, including portions of City Beach. The unanimous vote puts in place new policies allowing dogs on-leash — and always under the control of their handlers — on city rights of way; the Windbag and City Beach marinas; Lakeview and Hickory parks; the Sports Complex pathway, which winds through Travers, Centennial and Great Northern parks; and the City Beach pathway. Of especial importance is a provision that dogs are limited to the paved pathways through the Sports Complex and City Beach, and only seasonally, from Sept. 15 through April 15. While dogs are allowed to be in the parking lots of either location year-round, they are not to be let loose on the grassy or sandy areas of those respective parks. Per the policy, dogs are not allowed on childrens’ playground areas; tennis, basketball, pickleball or volleyball courts; nor sand-beach areas, skate parks or inside the fence at War Memorial Field. Finally, dogs are permitted to roam off-leash on the Pend d’Oreille Bay Trail — known at City Hall as Humbird Mill Park — and the city-owned Mickinnick trailhead. Sandpoint City Administrator Jennifer 6 /


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Stapleton noted that the ordinance change came as the result of a summer 2020 survey that drew about 800 respondents, the majority in favor of loosening leash restrictions — especially at City Beach, where community resource officers spend about one-third of their time enforcing animal control policies. “As it stands at the beach right now, dogs aren’t allowed at the beach; we’re pretty actively, daily, enforcing that,” Stapleton said. Councilmember Kate McAlister, who serves as president and CEO of the Greater Sandpoint Chamber of Commerce, expressed some trepidation about the new policy, especially as it relates to large events at the City Beach, such as Beerfest. “People are ornery about their dogs — and I’m a dog owner,” she said. “I think community members are going to take advantage of this, I really do.” McAlister added: “I don’t think we should pay [community resource officers] solely to make sure dog poop is cleaned up.” Sandpoint Parks and Rec. Director Kim Woodruff assured the council that, “It’s a small minority that are not responsible; that gives the majority of proper, caring pet owners a bad rap.” Stapleton said all dog policies remain status quo at City Beach until the fall, giving officials time to perform public outreach and education. “I’m very pleased with our prgoressive but still cautious approach,” Woodruff said.

Bits ’n’ Pieces From east, west and beyond

East, west or beyond, sooner or later events elsewhere may have a local impact. A recent sampling: British cyber security firm Comparitech discovered a massive bot farm that produced 50,000 posts a week used for political manipulation related to the 2020 election and COVID-19. Researchers said they did not know the origins of the bot farm, but it might have been Russia, given the “.ru” domain. President Joe Biden has proposed a $1.7 trillion job-creating infrastructure initiative for roads, bridges and other public works, much of it to be paid for with large tax increases affecting corporations and wealthy taxpayers. Republicans refuse to consider that payment plan, The New York Times reported. The Senate Republican proposal is one-seventh the cost of Biden’s proposal and has no mention of fixing veterans’ hospitals, repairing transit systems, removing lead pipes or otherwise laying the foundation for a clean energy economy. Biden noted that “corporate profits are the highest they’ve been in decades. And workers’ pay is the lowest level it’s been in 70 years.” Senate Republicans have said they support an infrastructure bill, but proposed paying for it with user fees (toll booths) and increased gas taxes, Americans for Tax Fairness stated. If Congress is looking for a few extra billion dollars, Elliot Nelgin, senior writer for the Union of Concerned Scientists, suggests looking at the military budget. He wrote in Scientific American that early this century the Pentagon canceled a dozen “ill-conceived, ineffective weapons programs that cost taxpayers $46 billion.” As well, since then there have been other comparable money drains — such as $1.5 trillion on the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter — the $67 billion Groundbased Midcourse Defense system and the $43 billion KC aerial refueling tanker. The U.S. military in 2019 exceeded that of the next 10 countries’ defense budgets combined, accounting for 38% of worldwide military spending. In contrast, the Environmental Protection Agency gets a bit more than 1% of the appropriation the military gets, despite the defense leaders acknowledging that climate change is a key threat facing U.S. security. Biden’s $6 trillion budget proposal is said to be a response to not only COVID-19 economic disruption but also

By Lorraine H. Marie Reader Columnist

decades of “disinvestment,” USA Today reported. Under Biden’s proposal, the debt would rise to 117% of the size of the economy by 2031. Without changes, the debt would grow to 113%. Debt was at 106% in 1946, at the end of World War II. The U.S. Senate vote was 54-35 and, while the majority lost, the 35 minority Republicans won using the filibuster to stop an independent investigation into the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection. Politico sketched Plan B: Democrats are not trusting compromise to establish a bipartisan commission, since they already made compromises and were rebuffed; instead they may initiate a Democrat-led commission. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, characterized the dissent by colleagues as “shortterm political gain,” since Republicans have said they’re worried that commission findings will negatively affect them in the 2022 elections. Republican Thomas Kean, head of the 9-11 commission, told The Guardian there was “no reason for turning it down,” but, “I guess some people were scared of what they’d find out.” Other House-passed bills speculated to be stopped by the Republican filibuster include: the For the People Act (which ends voter suppression and gets big money out of politics), the Equality Act, The Dream Act, the Paycheck Fairness Act, D.C. statehood and the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act. At the Q-Anon conference in Texas this last weekend a former Donald Trump attorney told attendees Trump “can simply be reinstated,” Business Insider reported. As well, Trump crony and event speaker Michael Flynn was asked if what happened in Myanmar, where a democratically elected government was overturned, can’t happen here. In a video clip that has since gone viral, Flynn said it should happen here; yet, he said reports that he called for a coup were “a boldface fabrication based on twisted reporting.” (Flynn was previously found guilty of lying to the FBI, but was pardoned by Trump.) The recent mass shooting in San Jose, Calif., was the 232nd mass shooting in the U.S. this year — that is 100 more mass shootings than occurred by this time in 2020, according to Democracy Now. Blast from the past: “Keep your eyes wide open before marriage; half shut afterwards.” — Benjamin Franklin, American statesman and scientist, 1706-1790.


Why gender-neutral pronouns are awesome... By Jodi Rawson Reader Contributor Unless you are cisgender, “attractive” and dress in a current code, you may have had the experience of having an incorrect pronoun thrown your way. In my formative years, the judgment underpinning pronouns felt exclusive, demanding and, sometimes, it made me sick. I was called “he” more than a few times, it wasn’t who I was or what I was going for and it felt like I was failing at being who I was “supposed” to be. Yet attempting to be a more obvious girl felt ridiculous; there was no way I could fit that mold. A gender-neutral pronoun might have fit me safe and snug. In eighth grade in the ’90s, when I threw a kid out from centerfield in a perfect onehop and the opposing coach said, “He’s got a great arm,” it was easy to let go. There I was in centerfield with short hair and no curves — the only girl in the league. What hurt was when a stranger said it up close. They were always so innocent about it. I remember the old man who worked the corner store where my friend ate hot nachos or corndogs after school. He assumed she brought in her boyfriend and asked her all sweet, “and

what would he like?” I wanted to die. Something about the innocence of the guy’s presumption, and how I knew that if I corrected him his eyes wouldn’t be able to hide disgust, made me shut down and hang my head. Then we had a traditional May Dance performance upon which our P.E. grade depended. We learned the dances awkwardly over several weeks prior, and a lot of old community members attended the performance. It was totally gender specific for the dances and attire. I begrudgingly wore a mandatory dress, but I kind of liked it. I had cool accessories — even makeup — and I felt confident going in, but then some started saying, “Oh look, she’s a girl!” again and again. Clearly, I failed at meeting the criteria of either gender. This was another situation that I replayed — making me feel so outcast that I prayed to die. Unfortunately, our language supports identifying and labeling people in an exclusive way, which only divides us. How much pain might have been avoided if we originally just had one pronoun for all? Now that I’ve grown and have a great apathy for fashionable opinion, I can tentatively peer back on those suicidal, confusing, dysphoric times in my puberty with a bittersweet sentiment. On one hand my gut squeezes with

pity for that little outsider, but on the other hand I celebrate: Woohoooo! I made it! We are all outsiders! But then I am suddenly drawn back to the present when a teenager, whose life I value more than my own, identifies with and prefers “they/them” pronouns. I realize that there are countless teens who are now feeling like they are in a damn pressure cooker, like I did, and they will be lucky to make it out of this decade alive. Most of my peers and elders are critical and reluctant about accommodating people identifying with “they/them” pronouns. They have a variety of reasons for being opposed, but most of the reasons are shadowed by redundant, narrow-minded stubbornness. I am working hard to change, but it is difficult after using “he” and “she” exclusively and definitively. I am now hurting youth with these easy judgments, just as I was hurt. Our use of assigning a gender to each person is as pervasive as assigning race. “What are you?” a brown skin friend of mine has often been asked, because his skin has that in-between-shade, like gender neutrality, that seems to terrify black-and-white thinkers. “They/them” pronouns used to identify a singular and specific person are here to stay. It is the best language we currently have to

And they are here to stay support those who have found refuge in this identity. I wish I had the option of gender-neutral pronouns when I was young, and I am proud of those who are part of this evolution. When we value a person and allow them to be safe in their unique identity, they may seek less refuge in suicidal attempts and ideations. Keep in mind that when meeting a person who identifies with “they/them” pronouns, one cannot assume anything about their sexual orientation or even whether they identify with being gender non-binary. Gender-neutral pronouns are simply the result of an evolution in equality. For myself, I would love to be referred to by gender-neutral pronouns. While I have gotten used to being an acceptable (albeit strange) “she” for decades, recently I was wearing scrubby layers to warm me while skating on a cold day, and some teens said “he’s pretty good,” before apologizing and giggling about the mix-up. I laughed aloud as I skated off and shouted, “It’s all good!” Because it is — the journey, the irony and even the arbitrariness of my gender. But not everyone is as lucky to have weathered such storms or can openly sign off as I can — Jodi Rawson; they/them, she/her, he/him.

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An invitation to 7B Women...

Bouquets: • Three cheers for Judge Lansing Haynes of the First Judicial Court for issuing a just and final decision on the seemingly never-ending lawsuit(s) against the city of Sandpoint and the Festival at Sandpoint for the latter’s no-weapons policy at Memorial Field. Judge Haynes ruled in favor of the city of Sandpoint and the Festival at Sandpoint on all claims brought by Scott Herndon, the Idaho Second Amendment Alliance and others. May we never have to write or think about this asinine waste of money and energy again. Barbs: • Idaho Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin stepped in a mess of stupidity last week when she went rogue while Gov. Brad Little was out of the state. McGeachin issued an executive order making it illegal for the state to issue a mask mandate, which was overturned 24 hours later and chastised by Little as “tyranny,” which is one of the first times I’ve actually seen the use of that word in recent months where it actually applies. McGeachin’s move was largely an act of political grandstanding, as she is currently running for governor. I’m curious — those who follow McGeachin and the rest of the far-right goons that have attempted to take over Idaho politics are all about personal responsibility and freedom, yet nobody says anything when their lieutenant governor presents an order forbidding the usage of face masks? Isn’t that the definition of tyranny for a state to tell us that we can’t wear something on our face? The followers of this growing extremist movement are hypocritical at best, supporting radical stunts like McGeachin’s so long as they support their own narrow ideology. We need to nip this growing extremism in the bud before we’ve gone too far toward crazy town. It’s embarassing to see what has become of the Idaho GOP. 8 /


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Dear editor, I was saddened when I read about the disbanding of the 7B Women’s organization. They have contributed much to our community. I know many of the women on their board. I wholeheartedly want to invite all of their members to join another (mostly women) organization dedicated to the education of our members and the betterment of women, children and families. The Community Assistance League (CAL) contributes to the same organizations you have supported and distributes grants just as you have. Not only do we raise funds, we also provide quality used items to families through the Bizarre Bazaar Resale Shop. Most of our volunteers are older. Currently, we need volunteers. We need your enthusiasm and drive. We need your fresh ideas. We ask our members to work a two-hour shift twice a month. You pick your days, come with friends and work at whatever task you choose. We are a diverse group of intelligent, kind and creative women. We need you and the community needs CAL. Your entire board could volunteer on the same day and enjoy each other’s company in a new endeavor! Without volunteers we could lose the Bizarre Bazaar and the many dollars they give each year. Come join us. Help carry on a 42-year legacy of giving, driven by women. Proud CAL member since 1998, Tracy Gibson Grant chair Sandpoint

Shout-out to the Panida supporters... Dear editor, I want to thank all the members, volunteers and past board members who continue to support the Panida with their time, money and good words. You step up to clean the theater, help in the office, put up posters, promote the shows, share your stories, donate and keep a positive forward-looking atmosphere for our wonderful theater. You are all fabulous people! Susan Bates-Harbuck 35-year member, past board member and chair, and “Panida Mom” Sandpoint

GOP has lost its way... Dear editor, What Happened to my GOP? I used to be a Republican — my father served on the county GOP committee (in Iowa) and we supported Sen.

Taft to challenge Harry Truman in his re-election bid in 1948. The first time I voted, while in the Air Force, was to re-elect GOP’s Dwight Eisenhower to a second term. The GOP now is calling for state Sen. Jim Woodward — by far the best of our state representatives — to resign and leave his party. Nationally, they voted to remove Rep. Liz Cheney from the House leadership for telling the truth about Donald Trump’s big lie — that he had won the 2020 election. “Tragically the Republican Party has lost its way, perverted by fear, lies and self interest. GOP attacks on the integrity of our elections and our institutions pose a continuing threat to the nation,” says a panel of former Republican elected officials and cabinet members. The Jan. 6 insurrection was a wake-up call for many who had remained loyal to the party. Many have since left. The GOP has effectively become a privileged third party, ranking behind Independents and Democrats in voter registration, the panel points out. Some former Republicans are talking about forming a new party supporting honorable Republicans who stand up for truth and decency, such as Liz Cheney, Lisa Murkowski and Mitt Romney. Perhaps they will succeed, but if not, they will be welcomed to join the Democrats (my party since 1960.) the inclusive party that represents the working-class people of this nation. Jim Ramsey Sandpoint

Seasons construction could accommodate direct trail access… Dear editor, For 25 years I worked as a construction worker in the Puget Sound area of western Washington. Some projects ranged from as small as the Seasons condo project to billion-dollar nuclear power plants. I won’t say what the city should do, but say what we (big contractors) did do regarding parking, the public and deliveries. First, we rarely parked on the job site. Worker parking was provided offsite, in parking lots we had to pay for, or, if a distance to the site, the contractor would provide transportation to the job site. We would never take taxpayer property for our convenience. It appears as though the workers’ cars at the Seasons site are causing the reduced work area. I suggest the workers park at the Windbag or elsewhere and walk to the site. If it’s

too far (not too far for citizens), the contractor could provide transport. Second, deliveries were scheduled for a specific time so as not to interfere with construction or the public passing by. If deliveries showed up unscheduled, they would be sent to a staging area until the delivery time. Most drivers understood this and timed their loads to accommodate the job. Third, public safety was paramount. We would build covered walkways, establish fencing that didn’t fall down or block the pedestrian sight triangle. Signage was always descriptive and directional. We would supply safe crosswalks when necessary. If we were doing the Seasons project, there would be a 20-foot safety corridor for citizens to access their taxpayer-funded lot and walk on their trail. Public entities would work with us, for the public, and never kowtow to us. William Krause Sandpoint

BoCo Republican Central Committee is living in a cave… Dear editor, Really? The Bonner County Republican Central Committee asks Jim Woodward to resign from the

Idaho Legislature because they don’t like his Republican politics? How politically arrogant of them! I grew up in a Republican home in Kellogg, though I always saw my folks look for something positive in other political decisions being made. The Idaho Republican Party has morphed away from that kind of graciousness and political savvy. Some Republicans in Idaho want to live in the proverbial “big tent.” The BCRCC seems determined to live deeper and deeper into a self-protecting, narrowing cave. In Bonner County, the BCRCC models a lockstep kind of political loyalty that serves no one well. Extreme expectations of our leaders usually result in extreme decisions — like asking Jim to turn his back on his political intuitions to do the right things for Idaho. Shame on you for disrespecting Jim and his courage to think for himself. I’m registered Unaffiliated. I almost wish I was a registered, card-carrying Republican so I could attend the next BCRCC meeting, stand up and tear the card up in front of those officials. (I can’t call them “leaders,” because leaders lead from their hopes, not their fears.) Paul Graves Sandpoint

Workers needed for annual Hope Pioneer Cemetery cleanup By Reader Staff For the past three years, a small group of dedicated citizens has gathered each spring to spruce up the Pioneer Cemetery — a small patch of gravestones overlooking Lake Pend Oreille on Highland Avenue in Hope. This year, the cleanup day will be held Saturday, June 5 from 9-11 a.m., and any and all help is appreciated. Volunteers, led by local man Jim Livingston, have improved the area of remembrance from a tangled, overgrown mess to a place for visitors, complete with a flag pole, path and bench. The cemetery is partially visible from Highway 200, above the large yellow retaining wall near the Hope boat basin. Though the area is known colloquially as the “Chinese Cemetery” — where Chinese railroad workers were supposedly buried

The Pioneer Cemetery in Hope. Photo by Lyndsie Kiebert in the 1800s — volunteers have determined that only five Chinese graves remain in the cemetery. By and large, the area serves as a resting place for some of Hope’s earliest pioneer residents. Volunteers are encouraged to bring power tools, rakes and other landscaping materials to help with the annual cleanup, as well as gloves and sunscreen. Those with questions can call 2021 cleanup coordinator Marie Bledsoe at 208-920-0074.


The sad, dangerous line from McCarthy to McGeachin By Mike Satz Reader Contributor

McCarthyism (noun): 1. the practice of making accusations of disloyalty, especially of pro-Communist activity, in many instances unsupported by proof or based on slight, doubtful or irrelevant evidence; 2. the practice of making unfair allegations or using unfair investigative techniques, especially in order to restrict dissent or political criticism. Source: Dictionary.com. On Thursday May 27, Idaho saw its very own McCarthy hearings begin with the first meeting of Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin’s Indoctrination Task Force. One might argue that the name of the committee is a political blunder because it sounds like a task force that is focused on indoctrinating Idaho’s students, but since that is actually what it is aiming to do, the title is remarkably accurate. At the heart of this task force is a significant lie: the lie that students are being “indoctrinated” in Idaho’s public schools by learning about (gasp) race in America. McGeachin, and the people she handpicked for her politicized task force, believe that it’s “un-American” to teach that enslaving Africans was bad or that we shouldn’t discriminate against people because of their race or that Native Americans were forced off of their land or that migrant workers are actually human beings or that Mormons at the turn of the 20th century were discriminated against and targeted in Idaho. The big lie that the lieutenant governor is promoting through this committee is that U.S. history is un-American. That’s right: The groups promoting this big lie argue that teaching kids about American history — a history full of both rich accomplishments and actions that are uniformly seen as bad choices today — is somehow disloyal to America and un-American. Well, McGeachin and her friends on the task force are wrong, and they are peddling the raw materials of disinformation: making Idahoans doubt even our own history as a people. What is even more astonishing is that the entire pretext for establishing

this Indoctrination Task Force was, apparently, based on fabrications and lies as well. The right-wing extremists behind this “Farce Force” accused Boise State University of indoctrinating students and cited a student reporting that they had been bullied for being white. There was even a video, they claimed. But on May 24, one of Idaho’s most esteemed law firms, Hawley Troxell, found zero evidence of indoctrination in Boise State’s classrooms; found zero evidence supporting the allegation that a white student was bullied; found zero evidence of any student complaining about being indoctrinated; and, perhaps most shockingly, found zero evidence that an actual video of the event even exists. Let that sink in for a moment. This year, Idaho’s Legislature cut university budgets by $2.5 million, rejected $6 million in early childhood education, held K-12 teacher pay raises hostage and passed an overtly racist bill that directly called out the teaching of critical race theory — teaching about race — based on this lie about our country’s history. And we now have a farcical task force filled with right-wing extremists looking for new ways to indoctrinate students in their manipulative belief system, and it’s entirely based on an incident and video that the evidence shows, at this point, didn’t happen and does not exist. The conclusion is inescapable: this task force is based on an accusation

Idaho Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin poses with two men dressed in prison garb supporting Idaho prisoner Todd Engel. The men are flashing the ‘OK’ symbol, which has been associated with white nationalism and the Three Percenters, a far-right anti-government militia movement. Courtesy photo.

(indoctrination); unsupported by proof (no report, no video); or based on slight, doubtful or irrelevant evidence. Even worse, the task force is the manifestation of a practice of making unfair allegations (non-existent incident and video) or using unfair investigative techniques (the task force filled with handpicked extremists), especially in order to restrict dissent or political criticism (teaching about any race from anything other than a dominant white perspective). In other words, Janice McGeachin is filling the shoes of disgraced American Sen. Joseph McCarthy and using his eponymous technique — McCarthyism — to foment racial discord and actively censor learning and free speech in Idaho classrooms. And that is, without a doubt, as un-American as one can be. Mike Satz is founding executive director of The Idaho 97 Project, theidaho97.org, which supports the democratic process in Idaho; counters disinformation and extremism through proactive, fact-based action and media messaging; and protects free expression and good governance for the public and public officials alike.

June 3, 2021 /


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Mad about Science:

Brought to you by:

The strange story of David hahn By Brenden Bobby Reader Columnist It’s not often that I write an article about a single person — so when I do, you can bet that person must have lived through some pretty crazy stuff. David Hahn certainly did, but for all of the wrong reasons. Born in 1976 in Royal Oak, Mich., David Hahn had an early aptitude for chemistry after a family member gifted him with a home chemistry set. Even today’s fireworks are considered safer than these old chemistry sets, as was evidenced when Hahn nearly burned down his tent and camp site during an Eagle Scout retreat where he and a number of his friends started a magnesium fire while trying to make their own fireworks. Magnesium reacts to water by breaking it down into an extremely flammable hydrogen gas, thus making the fire more dangerous. Additionally, attempting to use a traditional carbon-dioxide fire extinguisher will intensify the reaction. The most common methods are to use a specialized D-class dry chemical extinguisher or to quench the fire in sand, neither of which the group of Eagle Scouts likely had in the middle of a retreat. You might be surprised to discover that this mishap didn’t get David kicked out of the Eagle Scouts, and in fact he was encouraged to keep experimenting — even being awarded a badge for Atomic Energy some time later, for reasons you will soon discover. Despite frequently igniting small explosions and spilling untold amounts of chemicals all over the floor in his bedroom, 10 /


/ June 3, 2021

his parents refused to halt his experimentation, or even supervise him — instead, they moved him into the family’s basement where it was suspected he would do less damage to himself and the people around him. This proved to be a critical error in judgment. Now, don’t get me wrong — David Hahn was a very smart kid, and had he been given the proper guidance and oversight, could have had a bright future as a chemist or nuclear researcher; but, as far as anyone can tell, he was just left to his own devices, which was a recipe for disaster. Hahn’s experiments were moved a second time when he accidentally ignited a glass container filled with red phosphorus (presumably scraped from the end of an unknown number of matches). The resulting explosion sent shards of glass traveling at hundreds of miles per hour into his hands, arms, face and eyes. Somehow he was not blinded, his interest in volatile chemicals didn’t cease and, most confusingly, his parents still didn’t stop or supervise what he was doing. Instead, David set up shop in his mother’s backyard potting shed. It was in this potting shed that Hahn decided he wanted to build a functional nuclear breeder reactor — this is a type of nuclear fission reactor where neutrons are introduced to radioactive isotopes to create volatile forms of uranium that go on to split in two, creating a cascading effect of energy release that generally ends in an explosion — such as the one that blew the roof off the No. 4 reactor at Chernobyl. However, when these reactors are monitored and balanced properly by

trained professionals, the energy generated can prove to be quite efficient in boiling water, turning turbines and creating electricity for us to use. There’s a reason most governments and energy companies don’t build their reactors out of potting sheds. Hahn managed to procure a shockingly large amount of radioactive metals to successfully build the first stage of a breeder reactor, called a neutron source. He obtained the knowledge of how to build these reactors by simply calling and writing to organizations like the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the American Nuclear Society and others while pretending to be an adult researching the topic. David then procured a number of radioactive metals from hundreds of smoke detectors, camping lanterns and antique clocks. He encased his neutron source in a block of lead with the center bored out of it, tinfoil wrapped cubes of thorium ash collected from the camping lanterns and even some uranium he procured from Ukraine after a simple phone call. By this point, he has essentially created a radioactive fire hydrant that was so dangerous that he was able to detect large amounts of radiation from a block away. It was at this point, Hahn decided he had to disassemble the reactor before it could cause any more harm. Unfortunately for Hahn, the local police happened to stumble upon him trying to dispose of the pieces, and soon the FBI got involved. You might imagine a storm of hazmat-wearing movie villains descending on the property in the blink of an eye, and you’d be right — if that eye

David Hahn, left, and the scene of his radioactive tinkering. Courtesy photos. took five months to blink. An ocean of regulatory mishaps and bureaucratic red tape left federal agencies passing the buck back and forth until the EPA finally stepped in five months after Hahn’s initial arrest to begin cleaning up the area. In that span of time, his mother — afraid of losing her property — had attempted to dispose of most of the material herself. Much of this proto-reactor ended up in an unknown

number of landfills and could still be creating radioactive waste to this day. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not my intention to disparage Hahn’s scientific curiosity, or the curiosity of any readers out there, but if you plan on trying to build a highly dangerous nuclear reactor in your backyard, maybe you should soundboard it off a friend, first. Trust me, your neighbors will thank you for it. Stay curious, 7B.

Random Corner Don’t know much about mars? • More than 100,000 people have applied for a one-way trip to colonize Mars in 2022. • Sunsets are blue on Mars. • A year on Mars lasts for 687 Earth days. • Mars has the tallest known mountain in our solar system, with a height of 14 miles. • Mars is populated entirely by robots — seven to be precise.

We can help!

• In 1997, three men from Yemen tried to sue NASA for invading Mars, claiming they had inherited it from their ancestors 3,000 years ago. • The soil on Mars is particularly good for growing asparagus. • Google.com/Mars offers visible imagery, infrared and elevation views of the planet Mars.

• Mars is red because it is covered in iron oxide (rust).

• Scientists want to introduce global warming on Mars to help spur habitable conditions for colonization.

• The movie Gravity was more expensive than the Indian Mars mission.

• Mars had an oxygen-rich atmosphere around 4billion years ago.

• On its one-year anniversary, NASA’s Curiosity Rover sang “Happy Birthday” to itself on Mars.

• Mars has a flag. It was designed by a NASA engineer.

• The average temperature on Mars is -81° Fahrenheit. • You weigh about 60% less on Mars than on Earth. • Mars is about half the size of the Earth.

• Mars has the largest dust storms in the solar system. They can last for months and cover the entire planet.

June 3, 2021 /


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Bringing up the herd

A new law allows for cultivation of reindeer in North Idaho, thanks to a local man’s efforts

By Ben Olson Reader Staff Amid a hectic Idaho Legislature filled with partisan measures and battles between the legislative and executive branches over everything from citizen-led initiatives to emergency powers, House Bill 166 — ending the prohibition for raising reindeer north of the Salmon River — quietly made its way through the House and Senate. Gov. Brad Little ultimately signed the bill into law after a rare bipartisan show of support, bringing a tidy conclusion to an effort led in part by a Sandpoint man who has made raising reindeer — and other woodland creatures — his life’s work. Mike Miller was pleased to see the bill pass with a large show of support from both the House and Senate, with only five lawmakers voting “nay” in both chambers. The bill makes it lawful for any person to raise, breed and own fallow deer, elk or reindeer in captivity, so long as the premises have been registered with the division of animal industries. The bill ends a prohibition on raising reindeer north of the Salmon River set 35 years ago to avoid conflicting with the woodland caribou species. Miller has been involved with raising reindeer for decades, since he started the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center to raise captive species for research and reintroduction into the wild. When he started in 1992, there was an overpopulation of reindeer on one of the Aleutian Islands, following years of cultivation of both reindeer and cattle by the Russians. “There were 870 reindeer there,” Miller told the Reader. “They multiply fast, but crash as soon as the food source diminishes. They were decimating the island that far north — it takes a long time to rebound. The further north you go, the harder it is to survive.” Two local doctors ended up 12 /


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capturing 100 reindeer from the island and gave Miller 25 of them, selling the rest for meat. The 25 animals served as the foundation for Miller’s wildlife center. He was pleased to have gotten them out; afterward, more than 700 were shot from helicopters to help manage the overpopulation so indigenous species of birds and other animals weren’t decimated by the introduced herds. Miller began collecting woodland species at his wildlife center in the early ’90s, including caribou, moose, elk, bear, musk ox, wood bison, reindeer and blacktail deer. It soon became evident to Miller that reindeer were markedly different from the others, thanks to generations of breeding by the Russians. “All the other species you couldn’t get to walk on a halter,” Miller said. “You could hold them on a leash, but if they wanted to go forward, they went forward. They’re still wild. The reindeer we got off the island were domestic at one time. They’ve been domestic for centuries, actually.” It took a little patience and care, but Miller said it was easy to gain the reindeer’s trust through calm, positive reinforcement. “We’d take some of the males and females and put one of those sled dog hooks in the ground; tie them up real close,” Miller said. “We’d give them some willows or something they like to eat and soon they would recognize that you’re feeding them. Next time you come out they don’t jump around so much.” After some time, Miller said he was able to domesticate the reindeer with pelletized reindeer food. “You’d hold your hand out and they’d eat right out of your hand,” he said. “The next step is to take them off the short leash and hold them by a halter, give them food and walk with them; reward them whenever they stop jumping around. Before you know it, you can tame them down in a week. After that, you’d walk into

the field and they’d come right up to you as if they trusted you. You could never do that with any other species.” Miller estimates reindeer have been domesticated for more than 4,000 years. “The Russians to this day have little saddles and ride them; teach them to pull sleds,” Miller said. “Some of the big nomadic Indigenous people used to have houses on skis and the reindeer would pull the shed along so they re-setup and move just like sheep herders.” When Miller got involved raising reindeer, people were domesticating them in the U.S. for their antler velvet, which was supposed to be an aphrodisiac to help with erectile dysfunction. Russian breeders would traditionally sell to Asian markets, but when the Soviet Union broke up, the U.S. took over the market. “People were out starting game farms, but then Viagra came out,” Miller said. “This stuff actually worked, where antler velvet was probably more of a mental thing. So yeah, Viagra put an end to the 4,000-year antler industry.” Aside from raising woodland creatures for reintroduction to the wild, Miller also found there was a use for the animals in the motion

picture industry. “We did a lot of commercials where they wrote a moose or reindeer into the script,” he said. “We had a lot of documentary people come up who wanted long and close shots of animals eating brush.” One of the biggest projects Miller worked on was Sean Penn’s 2007 feature film Into The Wild, set in Alaska. The moose featured in the film was raised in Miller’s wildlife center. “It was a challenging shoot,” Miller said. “You have to let the animal settle in — hold them there for a while and hope they do what you want them to do. We could

Top: Mike Miller and family pose with a reindeer they raised in Alaska. Above: Schoolchildren in Alaska get up close and personal with some of Miller’s reindeer. Courtesy photos. attract them to one side with a favorite bread. Moose liked bananas, reindeer liked bread. We’d always get the shot, but we always told the producers that the first shot is always the best shot, so everybody should be ready for that.” Miller later got involved in a project trying to reintroduce the near-extinct wood bison, North America’s largest land animal,

< see REINDEER, page 13 >

< REINDEER, con’t from page 14 > which ultimately led to his leaving Alaska for Sandpoint. “Canada was down to 23 wood bison and Alaska was down to zero,” Miller said. “There were wood bison recovery programs, and we acquired 60 head in 2008 and brought them to the wildlife center. When we brought the bison to the wildlife center, everything got ugly.” Whenever an endangered species is involved in Alaska, politicians and native corporations oppose the efforts primarily because the state is a resource development state, Miller said. When oil and mining interests are often stalled to protect endangered habitats, it’s not unusual for the big moneyed interests to win the day. “We fought with politicians for 10 years,” he said. “When oil prices dropped in Alaska, we decided in 2017 that the ride was over and we headed for Sandpoint.” With his wife and two children, Miller moved to the lower 48 and settled in Sandpoint, eager to raise a “normal” farm with pigs and chickens instead of musk ox and reindeer. But old habits die hard and Miller began researching what it would take to start domesticating reindeer again in Sandpoint. The problem was there was a law on the books prohibiting the cultivation of reindeer to protect the herd of caribou that ranged as far south as the Selkirk Mountains as part of their habitat in years past. “But there haven’t been caribou down here in some time,” Miller said. There are about 10 different herds of caribou throughout British Columbia, Canada, and two southern herds that came into Idaho: the Purcell and Kootenai herds. “The Kootenai herd is down to three males, so that’s pretty much extinct, and the Purcell herd was down to one or two females, so they captured those and are breeding them in B.C.,” Miller said. “They’ll release the calves once they’re big enough.” When Miller saw the caribou no longer ranged into North Idaho, he began researching what it would take to reverse the law against raising reindeer in captivity. There were a few forces against him. Fish and Game are usually anti-farming, Miller said, mostly to stop the spread of chronic wasting disease. “Raising exotic species makes Fish and Game nervous because of the risk of escape and disease,” Miller said. “They’d just as soon leave the law where it was, but there was no real reason for the law anymore.” Miller took his concerns to the Idaho Legislature, contacting District 1 Rep. Sage Dixon, R-Ponderay, with his concerns. “It was my first time ever introducing a law, learning the procedures going from one committee to another,” Miller said. “Working with Sage was great. He was very nice and cordial and said that if it provides an economic benefit, that’s what his job was: to improve the economy.”

Dixon told the Reader he was contacted last fall by Miller and another man named Jordan Jonas, independently of one another, requesting the prohibition on reindeer north of the Salmon River to be lifted. “I found it curious that two individuals, who had never met, were interested in the same relatively obscure policy change,” Dixon wrote to the Reader. “After a few email exchanges with the two of them, I found merit in their ideas.” Dixon said he saw removing the prohibition as a potential business opportunity for people in his district. “One of the greatest rewards I experience as a legislator is sponsoring legislation that comes directly from constituents, and directly benefits our district,” Dixon wrote. Reindeer are not only a joy to raise, but they can sell for thousands of dollars apiece for breeding. Dixon said there was “almost no opposition” to the bill as it moved through the process. “The Idaho Conservation League had tepid opposition on the basis of a perceived threat to the wild caribou herd that used to exist north of Priest Lake,” Dixon wrote. “The Kootenai Tribe echoed similar concerns to me privately.” But, after discussions with both the Department of Agriculture and Idaho Fish and Game allayed those concerns, the only other point of contention was the potential for spreading chronic wasting disease to the wild caribou population. “Those concerns were amply addressed by Mr. Miller’s testimony, as well as the fact that any new domestic cervidae ranch must still follow the permitting process as outlined by the Department of Agriculture,” Dixon wrote. Miller said he stayed up late the night before his presentation researching chronic wasting disease to help persuade lawmakers that it wasn’t a concern. “I called up to a friend at the University of Alaska and asked him to bring me up to date,” Miller said. “My friend said out of all the hundreds of thousands of reindeer in captivity in North America and Russia, they’d never had a positive case. Recently, there has been one in the U.S. and one in Norway, but the fact remains that reindeer just aren’t that susceptible.” Another factor working in Miller’s favor was that domesticated reindeer don’t migrate or run off. “You could literally leave the gate open and they won’t run,” Miller said. “They’ve lost the urge to migrate. After Gov. Little signed the bill into law, they told me I had to have a six-foot fence and woven wire fence, and that was all acceptable.” Dixon said the process guiding this bill through both chambers and ultimately to Little’s desk was a great experience. “It is rewarding to be able to explain the legislative process in depth, to have

a constituent help craft the language of the bill, and to have a member of the public provide testimony to a committee, in both the House and Senate, on a topic that affects them directly,” Dixon wrote. “Despite our best efforts, we don’t always see an idea become law, and I am thankful this piece of legislation made it all the way through the process.” The bill will take effect July 1, giving Miller time to build his enclosures and begin sourcing some reindeer, which he found for sale in South Dakota. After halter training them, Miller has a lot of plans for his future herd of reindeer. Miller said he’d like to work with North Idaho visitor centers to use the reindeer to attract visitors and residents to winter events at Schweitzer, other winter events such as the Kinderhaven “Festival of Trees” fundraiser at the Bonner County Fairgrounds, Home Town Holiday in Bonners Ferry and Christmas events throughout the region. Summer activities could include walking reindeer through parades, on display at the Festival at Sandpoint, church events, outdoor and hunting shows, and photo opportunities for tourists. Aside from the community benefits, the reindeer could be again utilized for any film production purposes, which could help attract commercials and film production to the area. Finally, the educational opportunities to showcase live reindeer to area schools is particularly attractive. On the agricultural side, reindeer could be used as a 4-H animal at the county fair, as breed stock, for hard antler sales and local meat sales. Reindeer meat is delicious in sausage, hot dogs, burgers and steaks, Miller said. “I hope this brings some benefit for the community and makes it unique,” Miller said. “It is unique and I hope it fits in and brings that sense of fun to Sandpoint.”

Mike Miller poses outside the famous bus filmed in the movie Into the Wild. The bus has since been removed after increasing numbers of tourists got into difficulties visiting it. Courtesy photo.

FUN FACTS ABOUT REINDEER • A reindeer’s hooves are shaped like snowshoes and covered in hair, which helps give them a good grip when walking on frozen ground, ice, mud and snow. • Reindeer float because they have two layers of hair: a dense undercoat and a top layer of hollow hair filled with air that floats like a cork, which is useful for migration. People have even used reindeer hair to fill life jackets. • When a reindeer walks, its heels click, which experts think is a way the herd stays in contact during heavy snowstorms. This finally explains the lyric to the popular Christmas song, “Up on the housetop, click click click.” • Reindeer and caribou are the same animals, but the word “reindeer” often refers to those that have been domesticated or semi-domesticated. June 3, 2021 /


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On Buying a Bra


This open Window

Vol. 6 No.4

poetry and prose by local writers edited by Jim mitsui

It seems technology has failed us knowledge advances yet you cannot buy shoelaces that stay tied unless they fuse and have to be cut off

In the ’70s a physicist built a bra using sound engineering to create support they were beautiful and felt so good, felt pretty, too. But they fell out of style. And my endless search began

I just bought some underpants 3 sizes larger this time — I didn’t change these are the same size as the old ones when I hold them together — cut wrong to boot

Nowadays you can only find a comfortable bra if you don’t really need to wear one anyhow For us, old women warriors not yet quite ready to tuck the offending girls into our belts

I’ve long sought a perfect bra, now I’ll settle for one that doesn’t leave welts on my ribs or grooves in my shoulders, or uniboob so I look like I’ve a pillow in my shirt

the perfect bra is the holy grail forever out of reach. My ill-fitting underpants ride up my butt and the wayward assets smack me in the eye each time I bend to retie my unstrung shoes.

No more “lift and separate” — these days only jammed together cleavage so over-warm you could fry an egg walking to the mailbox on a sunny day so little support your chest whirls away when you turn around

mud and rain seven. p.m. and The sun has set It is October 25th, 2018 I sit beside my mother’s bed and whisper in her ear Dust collects on the vanity tray holding some jewelry and a small picture of my father in his GI uniform What an old woman my mother has become and does she even know that I’m here? Butter-colored is the silk pillow on her leather chair The voice in my head sounds like her voice singing “Beautiful Dreamer” while the vacuum whines a counterpoint A rumor insists that we are all dying even though somewhere in the world love is being renewed, reckless and fresh as the wind I am witnessing a fragility that is almost unbearable while in my memory she sits beside my bed, brings me ginger ale and consommé (she calls it such) My fever moves the walls in and out like bellows — Amy Craven, May 22 (my father’s birthday), 2021 Amy spent her first 40 years on the East Coast and the past 26 on the West Coast. She loves birds, dogs and music. Writing has become key in her life for the past six years.

Send poems to: jim3wells@aol.com 14 /


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I cut through the walls of ruts in front of my garage move wet piles of soil alongside the new rills to control where water goes. I’d like this to be spring, but March came in like a lamb, so the lion’s still to appear. Just like spring, mud’s everywhere. My deep frozen footprints from last thaw fill with rain I release like the ruts, put boards down over the muddiest parts of the path to the chicken coop. It all helps. But sometimes you just have to slog through the mud. Life. — Jeanette Schandelmeier

on a hill in itaru sasaki's garden stands an elegant white phone booth — connected to nothing. Here a man who lost his wife to the tsunami dials her cell phone and cries, tells her how much he misses her. A woman comes here to call her missing husband, says she’s so lonely, asks him to watch over their family. Now thousands come from all over Japan to call lost lovers and relatives— on the phone of the wind — Jeanette Schandelmeier, May 2021 A retired teacher, Jeanette grew up on a homestead in Alaska. She has a gift of writing poems that make us think beyond the words on the page.

— Maureen Cooper, April 23, 2021 Maureen is originally from Minnesota; she has an excellent sense of humor as this poem shows us.

The Monster in the Corner 3/24/21 In the darkened room an even denser form hunches behind a chair. I close my eyes, but then open them suddenly — trying to catch the creature moving. But it is still — waiting, waiting for me to fall asleep — then it will pounce! Hour after hour I struggle to stay awake, giving in just before dawn when sunlight arrives to reveal the sinister shape of my bathrobe tossed over the chair. — Brenda Hammond Brenda Hammond has lived in North Idaho since 1987 and is a mental health therapist practicing in Sandpoint. She is currently the president of the Bonner County Human Rights Task Force and has served on the board for more than 20 years.


Chamber honors Marcella Nelson as April Volunteer of the Month By Reader Staff The Greater Sandpoint Chamber of Commerce was pleased to present Marcella Nelson with April’s Volunteer of the Month certificate at its April 8 general membership luncheon. Every resident of Bonner or Boundary County ought to be aware of Nelson’s many contributions to local nonprofits over the decades. Most are probably not aware of her expansive professional career before dedicating her life to these charities. Nelson was born in Saskatchewan, Canada, in 1928 to U.S.-born parents and lived there for three years. Her family then moved to Lewiston and eventually settled in Bonners Ferry, where she grew up on the family farm. While still in school, Nelson’s first job was as a farm hand, until 1947, when she began a long career with what is now known as the Department of Labor. Nelson worked there for the following 37 years under various job titles: stenographer, interviewer, claims examiner, employment counselor, unemployment claims supervisor, assistant manager and office manager, just to name a few. Nelson retired from the Department of Labor in 1984 and, after just three days of living the good life, realized retirement wasn’t for her. Responding to an ad in the Daily Bee for a position with the Greater Sandpoint Chamber of Commerce, Nelson got the job and held it for the next 20 years. The Ponderay Community Development Corporation asked her to serve as its manager in 2004, in which position she served for nearly 10 years. When she “retired” once again — having worked for 67 years — she dedicated her time to volunteering. Today, Nelson serves on the boards of the Pend Oreille Arts Council, Festival at Sandpoint and Ponderay Rotary. She is also a member of the Greater Sandpoint Chamber of Commerce, Bonner General Health Advisory Council and Community

Marcella Nelson is presented with her Volunteer of the Month certificate by Greater Sandpoint Chamber of Commerce staffer Ricci Witte. Courtesy photo. Assistance League. She is also a supporter of Kinderhaven; the Panhandle Alliance for Education; the Panida Theater (where she was a longtime board member); Women of Wisdom; and the Litehouse YMCA, in whose gym she has practiced aerobics since its predecessor, Sandpoint West Athletic Club, opened in 1984. Many of her fellow board members speculate on how she can convince people to donate so much to so many causes, or whence her seemingly endless energy comes. Their only explanation: “The Power of the Bun” — that being a reference to her signature hairstyle. With most events canceled due to COVID-19, Nelson missed the in-person meetings but that didn’t slow her down — she managed to adapt well to the new world of Zoom, which was quite an accomplishment for a farm girl born in 1928. If anyone has ever deserved to be honored for their volunteerism, it is Marcella Nelson. That is why the GSCoC stated it was “exceedingly proud to honor Nelson as its April 2021 Volunteer of the Month.”

Angels over Sandpoint plans Lazy .08K

By Reader Staff The Angels over Sandpoint have announced Saturday, Aug. 28 as the date for the second annual Lazy .08K foot race. First hosted in 2019, the event had to take a hiatus in 2020 due to the novel coronavirus; it’s back, now, with all proceeds going to help those in need in Bonner County. Registration starts at noon at MickDuff’s Beer Hall (220 Cedar St.), followed by a session of hydration with the highest-quality beer (or root beer). Racers will have the opportunity to scope out the course, which begins and ends at the beer hall — encompassing a thereand-back jog across the parking lot.

Organizers say that runners will face numerous obstacles on the course, but not to worry as there will be an opportunity to reload on carbs at the halfway point. The kids race happens at 1 p.m., followed by the adults. Racers will have the opportunity to take victory pictures at the finish line. General entry is $25. This includes a prerace beer and a swag bag. VIP entry is $50, which includes a pre- and post-race beer; the special VIP treatment, which is transportation across the course, rather than actually having to run the full .08K; and a VIP swag bag. Come for the race, stay for the live music, food and additional games. Register at Eventbrite: bit.ly/34EDmF3. June 3, 2021 /


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Local graduation ceremonies set By Reader Staff Aside from the traditional resilience and dedication it takes to earn a high school diploma, the students of the graduating class of 2021 have had to navigate a particularly tumultuous final two years of school amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Community members are invited to celebrate these grads at upcoming ceremonies throughout the county in coming weeks. Clark Fork Jr./Sr. High School Wednesday, June 9 @ 7 p.m. The 2021 class of Wampus Cats will celebrate graduation at the Clark Fork High School football field. Families of graduates will receive priority seating on the football field with ample seating for everyone else throughout the rest of the football field and overflow onto the golf course, if needed. Guests are encouraged to bring lawn chairs. Lake Pend Oreille Alternative High School Thursday, June 10 @ 6 p.m. Lake Pend Oreille High School will host its annual celebration of graduating students in the auditorium of the Sandpoint Events Center (102 S. Euclid Ave.) This will be an open event. Masks are not required, but encouraged. Organizers will provide masks for those who request them. Hand sanitation stations will also be available. For those who are unable to

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attend or uncomfortable attending in person, the school will be live-streaming through its Facebook page: facebook.com/lakependalt. Priest River Lamanna High School Saturday, June 12 @ 10 a.m. PRLHS graduates will receive their diplomas in traditional fashion in the high school gymnasium. Sandpoint High School Friday, June 11 @ 6:30 p.m. SHS graduation will take place at War Memorial Field, with doors opening for general admission at 5:30 p.m. No prior reserved or saved seating (except by SHS officials) is allowed. Organizers want to remind attendees that Memorial Field is owned by the city of Sandpoint, and items such as food and drink (other than water) are not allowed on the turf, along with fireworks, confetti, balloons or other items that would be difficult to clean up. Drones are also not allowed, as per city rules. SHS and the Lake Pend Oreille School District prohibit smoking, vaping, drugs, alcohol and weapons from the event. Parking is limited, and organizers ask that graduation guests respect nearby private residences when considering where to park. The school district also requests that people adhere to social distancing guidelines to the best of their ability.


Sun’s out, tongue’s out

Traveling street artist Muck Rock is behind the new Foster’s Crossing mural

By Lyndsie Kiebert Reader Staff

It’s not everyday that you see a bull moose stick out his tongue at you. However, such is now the case in Sandpoint. Travelers along Fifth Avenue can take in a new mural on the Foster’s Crossing building, complete with massive sunflowers, bright red mushrooms and, yes, a moose with his tongue out and, perched upon it, a monarch butterfly. The art is some of the latest large-scale mural work by traveling painter Jules Muck — known best by her street artist moniker Muck Rock. She and her fiance, Kyle, along with their dogs, often embark on roadtrips, leaving behind both contracted and spontaneous art in their path. The Foster’s Crossing project came about when an old neighbor from Venice, Calif., now living in Sandpoint — Hannah Hempstead — saw on social media that Muck was doing some work in Missoula, Mont., during the last week of May. Foster’s owners Dave and Kate Luers had seen some of the artist’s work in the past and jumped at the chance to have a mural painted on their building. Hempstead made the connection and Muck was there within 24 hours. “I was blown away and super inspired,” Muck said of her first visit to North Idaho, “and then it just kind of unfolded naturally.” Naturally and quickly, as it turns out. “She got here at 12:30, and we discussed some things that we’d like to see done, and she was done at 4:30,” Dave said. “It was an amazing thing.” While Muck is known for incorporating social commentary and more hard-hitting elements into her street art, she took a different approach at Foster’s, paying homage to the natural world — but not without some whimsical flare. “Watching her do the work — it was incredible, really,” Kate said. “We love it.” The artist even had time to paint some private residences during her single day in Sandpoint, leaving vibrant tulips and gigantic bumblebees in her wake. “I actually got more requests to come back, so I am planning on circling around again,” she said, noting that the art she completed in Sandpoint were her first projects in Idaho. “I’m excited to paint

Above: Jules Muck — known as Muck Rock — begins painting a moose on Foster’s Crossing’s exterior. Photo by Kate Luers. Inset photos: The finished mural. Photos by Lyndsie Kiebert.

more there because it’s such a cool town.” In the meantime, the artists are back home in California, looking forward to their next adventure — likely with a few stops in the panhandle along the way. “I come back so fulfilled from the things that I see and it totally changes and shapes my art,” Muck said of her frequent road trips. “Those beautiful rivers and the lakes and everything that we saw completely inspired me, and when I leave the area, I get to take a little piece back.

It’s almost like a trade — I leave them something from where I’ve been and I take some of their stuff and I spread it to the next place … “I think it’s really beneficial not only for my art, but for the people who get to see it and have it.” Find Muck Rock on Instagram (@ muckrock) to see more of her art and contact her about commissions. June 3, 2021 /


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events June 3 - 10, 2021


Live Music w/ Kevin Dorin 6-8pm @ MickDuff’s Beer Hall

Live Music w/ Open Mic Night 7-9pm @ The Longshot Musicians, poets, comedians - all welcome

Live Music w/ Alex & Maya 7-9pm @ The Back Door

FriDAY, June 4

Live Music w/ Kevin Dorin 8-10pm @ The Back Door Live Music w/ Son of Brad 5-8pm @ Pend d’Oreille Winery

Late First Friday Lawn Party 5pm @ The Longshot Live music, local vendors and DJ Marvin Gardens. The outdoor bar is open!

Live from 525: The Powers and Bridges Home in concert at the Festival office 5-6:30pm @ Festival at Sandpoint office An intimate concert setting with CDA favorites The Powers and Sandpoint’s own Bridges Home. Proceeds benefit the Festival’s nonprofit music education and outreach mission. Tickets: festivalatsandpoint.com


Live Music w/ Daniel Botkin 7pm @ Eichardt’s Pub

Live Music w/ Chance Long 6:30-9:30pm @ MickDuff’s Beer Hall

Live Music w/ Bright Moments Jazz 8-10pm @ The Back Door Live Music w/ Chris Lynch 5-8pm @ Pend d’Oreille Winery Live Music w/ John Firshi 6-8pm @ Idaho Pour Authority

Music Matters family concert 1pm @ Lakeview Park A free concert to honor the historic bell’s arrival the Music Conservatory. Sandpoint Farmers’ Market 9am-1pm @ Farmin Park Music by the Festival Youth Orchestra

Outdoor concert with LC Huffman 8-10pm @ The Longshot Birds and Burritos 6-10am @ Pine St. Woods Join local birding expert and Kaniksu Land Trust board member Rick Del Carlo and breakfast burrito maker Celeste Grace as they introduce the birds of PSW. Tickets $40, with funds supporting KLT Free First Saturday at the Museum 10am-2pm @ BoCo History Museum This month’s event sponsored by Jack and Shirley Parker. Bonnercountyhistory.org

FSPW Summer Kick-Off Party 5-8pm @ Utara Brewery lot Welcome summer in style with the Friends of Scotchman Peaks Wilderness. Free hiking maps, great beer, games for all ages, crosscut saw demos and goodie bags

SunDAY, June 6

Sandpoint Chess Club 9am @ Evans Brothers Coffee Meets every Sunday at 9am

Interactive Bingo 6-7:30pm @ Pend d’Oreille Winery

monDAY, June 7

Outdoor Experience Monday Night Group Run – All levels welcome 6pm @ Outdoor Experience Lifetree Cafe • 2pm @ Jalapeño’s Restaurant “When Love Hurts: Ending the Cycle of Domestic Violence.”

Monday Night Blues Jam w/ Truck Mills 7pm @ Eichardt’s Pub

wednesDAY, June 9 Live Music w/ Mike Wagoner 7pm @ Eichardt’s Pub

Live Music w/ Ben Murray 6-8pm @ Idaho Pour Authority

Sandpoint Farmers’ Market 3-5:30pm @ Farmin Park Music by Kathy Colton & the Reluctants Live Music w/ Samantha Carston 7-9pm @ The Back Door

ThursDAY, June 10 Live Music w/ Brian Jacobs 6-8pm @ MickDuff’s Beer Hall

Live Music w/ Alex & Maya 7-9pm @ The Back Door 18 /


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Live Music w/ Open Mic Night 7pm @ The Longshot Compete in teams of 6 (bring your crew or meet someone new) with prizes of gift cards. Free and open to the public

COMMUNITY Invites open for Women’s Golf League at Elks By Reader Staff The Wednesday Morning Women’s Golf League opened its season with a scramble and brunch at the Elks on May 26, and is now inviting any local women interested in joining the league to contact Lois Michael at 208-610-5914. Play began June 2 and will continue every Wednesday until Aug. 25. Golfers are asked to arrive at the Elks Golf Course (30196 ID-200 in Ponderay) by 7:30 a.m. for an 8 a.m. start.

“If you are interested in playing with a fun group of women, we would love to have you contact us,” the league wrote in a news release, adding that new or experienced golfers are equally welcome to join.

Friends of Library book sale this weekend By Reader Staff The Friends of the Library will host the next monthly book sale on Saturday, June 5 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. and — for the first time in about a year — the mask requirement has been lifted. Summer is right around the corner and it’s time for sunglasses, sun-tan lotion and lots of summer reading. The FOL has a large selection, including

fiction, mysteries, children’s, how-to’s, travel, media, nonfiction and gardening. Also on offer will be oversized travel and tabletop books, sports and pet books, and classics. “We look forward to seeing you as always,” FOL stated in a news release. “We are grateful for the opportunity to put wonderful books in the hands of Bonner County readers of all ages.”

Panida town hall community meeting scheduled By Reader Staff The Panida Board of Directors is hosting an open town hall community meeting on Monday, June 7, at 6 p.m. in the Panida main theater. Under discussion will be the

needed maintenance, repair, and restoration projects required for the main theater and Little Theater buildings. Community members are invited to attend and share their views on the future prospects for the two buildings.

Volunteers needed for North Idaho trail projects By Reader Staff The nonprofit organization Idaho Trails Association is looking for hikers who are interested in helping on one-day, weekend and weeklong projects throughout the summer to maintain trails in North Idaho. No experience is needed to participate, and hikers of all levels are encouraged to join. All tools and training will be provided at the start of the trip. Many ITA volunteers describe their experience as empowering and a great way to meet other outdoor enthusiasts, according to trip organizers. ITA has projects planned all over the state and 15 in the North Idaho region for summer 2021, including these three upcoming trips: Mickinnick Trail: Saturday, June 5 On National Trails Day, volunteers will work again on this popular 3.5-mile locally-built hiking trail. Mickinnick gains 2,200 feet to reach a viewpoint far above the city of Sandpoint. Volunteers will cut out logs, do tread work, improve drainage and trim back brush.

Coeur d’Alene National Recreation Trail: Friday-Sunday, June 18-20 This is a three-day project in the upper North Fork of the Coeur d’Alene River. Volunteers will remove logs, cut brush and do some tread work on this scenic National Recreation Trail that follows the river. Volunteers will stay in a car camping area with a good swimming hole. Come for one, two or all three days. Fault Lake Trail 59 Weeklong Trip: Friday-Wednesday, July 18-23 A six-day project high in the Selkirk Mountains in North Idaho. Hike about five miles to a camp just below the lake and build a “turnpike” (raised walkway) through a swampy area. Volunteers will also do tread work, brushing and drainage improvement. A backcountry horse crew will haul in all the necessary gear. To sign up for these projects and see the rest of ITA’s North Idaho schedule, visit idahotrailsassociation.org/upcoming-projects.


Home away from home Acclaimed film Minari explores the immigrant experience in 1980s Arkansas

Courtesy photo. By Zach Hagadone Reader Staff

kids Anne (Noel Cho) and David (Alan S. Kim) — the little boy whose perspective and experiences underpin the narrative, and who stands in as a quasi-autobiographical The 2020 film Minari, from South Korerendition of director Chung. an writer/director Lee Isaac Chung, is a deft, The adults immigrated first to Califoraffecting example of the notion that cultures nia, working in a poultry operation sepaare often best understood through the lens of rating chicks by gender. Mom (played by those who wish to become a part of them. Yeri Han) and dad (Steven Yeun) clearly This is always an important idea to didn’t move across the Pacific Ocean to explore — especially in a place like the work as chicken sexers; and, with their United States, which simultaneously prides growing family in tow, so comes the dream itself on being a “melting pot” and a monoof running their own farm deep in the rural culture. Minari is exceptionally timely, interior of an unfamiliar country. as it focuses on a family headed by South Proceeding is a series of clashes among Korean immigrants as they strive toward the cultures, spouses and generations, as family American dream in 1980s Arkansas. members struggle to fit in among their Critics fell in love with the film almost immediately after it premiered in early 2020 neighbors, navigate their own ambitions and at the Sundance Film Festival, where it took misgivings, and come to terms with old and the U.S. Grand Jury Prize and U.S. Dramat- new ways of living. Rogerebert.com, which gave the film ic Audience Award. Upon its general release three-and-a-half out of four stars, praised in February 2021, Minari went on to win a Chung, whose meticulously crafted film Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language achieves the feat of making the stuff of evFilm and picked up no fewer than six Oscar eryday American life seem “fresh and alive,” nods, including best picture, best director, as seen through the eyes of those who are best original score, best original screenplay, working to become familiar with them. best actor and best supporting actress. Youn The New York Times made Minari a “critYuh-jung took home the 2020 Academy ic’s pick,” with renowned reviewer A.O. Award for best supporting actress for her Scott calling it “a lovely new film” filled portrayal of Soon-ja, the 70-something with “gentle intensity” and “a warm sense matriarch whose daughter and son-in-law of familiarity” that is “moving and downsend for her from South Korean to live with right revelatory.” them, making her the first Korean performer Review aggregators Metacritic and ever to win an Oscar for acting. Rotten Tomatoes give Minari a rating of That’s a lot of buzz and audiences in 89% and 98%, respectively, Sandpoint will get a chance Minari (PG-13) indicating what The Times’ to see what it’s all about Friday, June 4, 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, critic Scott called the film’s when Minari comes to the June 5, 7:30 p.m., Sunday, June 6, “universal acclaim.” Panida Theater for a series 2:30 p.m. (featuring closed capClearly, Minari has of screenings Friday, June tioning); doors open 30 minutes struck a cultural chord, 4-Sunday, June 6. before the show; $9 adults, $8 presenting a poignant, In a tight hour and a half, seniors, $7 students, $6 kids 12 and under. Panida Theater, 300 deeply-felt portrait not only the film centers on the story of an immigrant family, but N. First Ave., 208-263-9191, of Monica and Jacob Yi and panida.org. their new home writ large. their two American-born

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The Sandpoint Eater Growing pains By Marcia Pilgeram Reader Columnist

After a couple of false starts, I think our good friend, summer, is finally making her way to Sandpoint. I’m sure I’m not the only one who lost a few plants in our recent, late frost. I can’t lie; before they even made it outside, I’d already lost most of the seedlings I’d so carefully planted, nurtured and hovered over (and bragged up, a bit too much) for the past couple of months. I even bought various mentor plants so my young seedlings would see what was expected of them, but geez, a few of those bit the (frost) dust, too, even though I had carefully covered them. Out of 72 original seedlings, I now have four tomato plants; one basil plant (from my hoarded, contraband French seeds); two pepper plants; and one rosemary plant that is (still) only about the size of half a (small) lentil. One hopeful cilantro plant survived its delicate transplant but apparently didn’t like the neighborhood and only lasted about 24 hours before perishing. Also surviving and thriving were three yet-to-be-identified starts, which I thought were peppers, but according to gardening expert daughter Ryanne, they were radishes. I didn’t even plant radish seeds, and I swear they were mispackaged, but Ryanne says that doesn’t happen. Whatever. I carefully transplanted them to the garden and fantasized about my adorable youngest grandson, city-dweller Sammy, gently pulling a bright red, edible globe from his Mimi’s garden. Alas, that idyllic vision was short-lived, thanks to my three-legged cat, Laurel, 20 /


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who remains an accomplished digger, even with one remaining front leg. Gosh, it’s disheartening to get plants past the “too-hot, toocold, too-wet or too-dry” stages only to move on to the danger of house pets, rodents and insects. Luckily, I needn’t worry about the threat of wildlife. Yet. They’ll wait until I have giant, mature vegetables ready to be relished. Undeterred, I spent the past weekend buying lots of pots, potting soil and a plethora of ready-to-succeed-looking vegetable plants, including a third set of tomatoes. I hope I have better success as a pot farmer than I did with a previous attempt in my raised beds. If all else fails, you find me at Saturday Market, shopping, then stealthily planting young organic carrots and radishes in my pots for young

Sammy to harvest. Shh! Adding insult to injury, I just talked to my 13-year-old granddaughter, Miley, who, along with her just-a-yearolder brother Zane, recently planted a large garden on their Montana ranch. In a couple of months, my progeny and I will meet up for our annual summer rendezvous, where Miley will proudly show off a basket of her behemoth cucumbers and other praise-worthy edibles. We all have to excel at something, and besides her green thumb, she’s also now giving me a run for the money with her baking prowess — especially her artsy, Instagram-worthy pie crusts. Even though it seems like a good old-fashioned pie bakeoff would be in order, we gave up on those years ago when mother, children and intended son-in-law all ended up in a

giant fight, with accusations of oven and apple tampering. Instead, this time when we meet up, I’ll acquiesce to Ryanne’s demand that I relinquish some kitchen duties to my children and theirs. I’ll spend more time outdoors and enjoy sweet moments with the youngest of the young ones, before their fleeting, carefree days dissolve into adolescence and they too are called to kitchen duty. If there was any silver lining in 2020, I learned to appreciate the unhurriedness of my days and simple pleasures, like the busyness of swarming bees, preparing my raspberry bushes for what looks to be a bumper crop for Sammy and his baby sister, Runa. Aside from the sickly seedlings, my yard has never looked better. My Mother’s Day gifts, of peonies and climbing roses

(planting included) are bursting with bloom. After years of uprooting and moving, my mother’s rhubarb plant is deeply rooted and thrives in its environment. After 20 years in this home, I feel the same. I used to be fond of saying, “I’d rather make a wedding cake than pull a single weed,” but I’ve become quite adept at this business of pulling weeds. I felt a paradigm shift, after a day spent in the yard instead of the kitchen, and reached out to Miley for a recipe recommendation for this week’s column. “Hmm,” she said, “maybe something that introduces summer, like a dessert-type thing, that involves fruit.” Smart girl (but combining my mom’s tangy rhubarb with frozen raspberries from last year’s harvest was my idea).

Raspberry-swirled rhubarb bread

A cool and tangy treat for a hot summer day, this bread is best when served a day after baking. No need to rinse or wash the mixing bowl between the raspberry batch and the rhubarb batch. Depending on your pan sizes, this is a two- to three-loaf recipe — and you’ll be glad (it’s that good).

INGREDIENTS: Topping • ½ cup sugar • ¼ cup flour • ½ tsp cinnamon • ¼ cup softened butter Raspberry batter • ½ cups fresh or frozen raspberries • 1 egg • 1 cup sugar • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened • ½ cup flour Rhubarb • 2 large eggs, room temperature • 1 cup butter • ¾ cup brown sugar • ⅔ cup buttermilk • 4 cups all-purpose flour • 2 tsp baking powder • 1 tsp baking soda • ½ tsp fine sea salt • 1 ½ cup diced rhubarb

DIRECTIONS: Preheat oven to 350°F. Line pans with parchment paper and spray/grease both sides of paper. Topping: In a small bowl, with fingertips, blend flour, sugar, cinnamon, and butter until crumbly. Set aside. Raspberry batter: In bowl of stand-up mixer (or with hand mixer), combine cream cheese and sugar until creamed, blend in eggs and flour until smooth, then fold in raspberries. Pour into large bowl, scraping mixing bowl well. Rhubarb batter: In same mixer bowl, cream butter and brown sugar, beat in the eggs and slowly add the buttermilk until well blended. In a separate dry bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Whisk in orange zest to distribute evenly. Add the rhubarb to these dry ingredients and toss until rhubarb is coated with flour. Add flour mixture to dry mixture and blend slowly, just until mixed. Pour the rhubarb batter into the prepared loaf pans. Make a well down the center and spoon raspberry batter down

the crevice, on top of rhubarb batter — try to keep raspberry mixture from touching sides of pan. Add another layer of rhubarb batter; pan should be about ⅔ filled. Tap lightly, sprinkle with topping mixture and bake in preheated oven until

the tops are golden and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean (about an hour), depending on your oven. Cool on wire rack to room temperature before chilling overnight in fridge. Slice and serve.


Music Conservatory hosts concert to welcome historic bell at Lakeview Park By Zach Hagadone Reader Staff After a few months of archival sleuthing — in a partnership between the Music Conservatory of Sandpoint and Bonner County Historical Society and Museum — the once and future bell atop the old city hall at 110 Main St. is officially back home. The conservatory, which now owns the former city hall downtown, where it houses its offices and hosts classes, is in the midst of a renovation of the historic building. MCS hoped to find and reinstall the large bell that once featured on the roof, but no one knew for sure where the bell went

after it was taken down in the winter of 1951-’52. Local historians then took to the records and found the bell at an antiques dealer in Spokane, from which MCS purchased the artifact. Now, it will rest at Lakeview Park in front of the museum until it can be hoisted back up onto the roof and into its reconstructed bell tower. To celebrate, MCS will host a special community concert Saturday, June 5 featuring the Music Matters! Ensembles from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Bonner County History Museum (611 S. Ella St.). The concert is intended as a “thank-you” to those who helped locate, secure and deliver the bell,

and also a way to spread the word about a new fundraiser called “the Sandpoint Symphony,” in which community members can buy notes that will be part of a composition. “It will be a composition for a bell choir,” MCS stated. “Maybe we get to hear the first few measures?” Organizers said concert goers should bring a beach towel, some lunch and settle in for live music. The concert also coincides with Free First Saturday at the muse-

Courtesy photo. um, meaning guests can enjoy free admission.

More info at sandpointconservatory.org or facebook.com/musicconservatoryofsandpoint.

PO Chorale and Orchestra to perform free spring concerts at St. Joseph’s By Reader Staff The Pend Oreille Chorale and Orchestra will host its free spring concerts at Saint Joseph’s Catholic Church (601 S. Lincoln Ave.), with performance dates set for Friday, June 4 at 6 p.m. — including a reception — and Sunday, June 6 at 2 p.m. Chorale performances will take up the first half of the concerts, featuring musical works from the 16th century to the 21st century. “The pieces I chose hopeful-

ly will elicit a light and positive feeling, but still with meaningful emotion for both singers and audience,” said Chorale Director Caren Reiner. “We certainly do not need any more stress in our lives.” Following the chorale portion will be the orchestra under the direction of Mark Reiner. The opening number is the haunting Quiet City by Aaron Copland, written in 1940, featuring trumpet soloist Aryan Riener and oboe soloist Chloe Issa. Then comes the world premiere of two movements

of the Violin Concerto by Mark Reiner. Soloist will be concertmistress Gayle McCutchan. “This composition has really pushed everyone to higher levels of technique and rhythm. I hope all comes together correctly for the performance,” said Director Mark Reiner. “The fast movement titled ‘2020’ reflects the turmoil of that year, while I was composing it,” he added. “The second movement provides a big contrast with sweeping melodies and emotional

intensity. The third movement will be played at the December concerts.” Another soloist, Larry Hanna on French horn, will perform a Romanze by Saint-Saëns. Closing the concert will be a rousing Haydn symphony, La Reine, composed in 1784 at the height of the Classical period. Concerts are free, though donations are gratefully accepted to help continue the work of the Pend Oreille Chorale and Orchestra, now in its 27th year.

A snapshot of notable live music coming up in Sandpoint

Festival announces final act of 2020 By Reader Staff The Festival at Sandpoint released its final act of the 2021 concert series last week, establishing a stellar lineup for this summer’s run of musical performances at War Memorial Field. American rock band Young the Giant will celebrate the 10-year anniversary of its debut self-titled album with a show at the Festival on Friday, Aug. 6. Formed in 2004 in Irvine, Calif., Young the Giant

went through some personnel changes before establishing its final group in 2010. Band members Sameer Gadhia (lead vocalist), Jacob Tilley (guitar), Eric Cannata (guitar), Payam Doostzadeh (bass guitar) and Francois Comtois (drums) combine their unique international backgrounds to form a blend of indie pop and anthemic stadium rock. The quintet has seen multiple songs reach the Top Billboard playlists, and its members’ adventurous

American rock band Young the Giant will play the main stage Aug. 6

spirits make them a great choice to dance on your blankets to catchy gold hits like “My Body” and “Cough Syrup.” They’ve thrilled crowds across the country at festivals like Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza and Austin City Limits and are excited to bring their energy to the Festival at Sandpoint. Tickets are $65.95 for general admission or $90.95 for early entry fee. Gates open at 6 p.m. and the music starts at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 6. For more information or to

This week’s RLW by Ben Olson


I’m a sucker for novels set in the WWII time period. Thomas Pynchon’s 1973 opus Gravity’s Rainbow is one of those books you really should read if you haven’t. Set at the end of WWII, Gravity’s Rainbow explores the design and production of the V-2 rockets by the German military. Pynchon centers his narrative on several characters attempting to uncover the device, and is some of the best writing of the 20th century.


The Austin, Texas duo Hovvdy have added something special to the lo-fi, intimate indie rock style that has captivated my attention for years. In the same vein as Yo La Tengo and Pavement, Hovvdy has a laidback, pleasant approach to their music, creating earworm melodies that stick with you long after listening. Check them out on Spotify or other streaming services.


Before there was Titanic, there was The Abyss. This 1989 feature film starring Ed Harris and Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio takes us into the deepest parts of the ocean as an exploratory oil drilling team is tasked to locate a downed nuclear sub. But they encounter something down there that isn’t of this world. The plot follows a time-tested formula of how some of us may react to a foreign species with hostility and others with acceptance, but overall it’s a fantastic mix of suspense, sci-fi special effects that are very well done for the time period and a heartwarming story wrapped in conflict. It’s one of James Cameron’s best films, and he’s had a lot of good ones.

Courtesy photo. purchase tickets, please visit festivalatsandpoint.com or email info@ festivalatsandpoint.com. June 3, 2021 /


/ 21


The art of the nap

With a little research and a lot of practice, mid-day shut-eye is possible — and helpful

From Northern Idaho News, June 5, 1917


On information received from Westmond Friday night, members of the sheriff’s force journeyed to that place and arrested three women and four men for being intoxicated. When brought to Sandpoint, shortly after they gave their homes as Spokane and stated that they were but traveling through Idaho, en route to the western metropolis from a sojourn of a few days in Montana. Extending to them every courtesy, consistent with law and order, a hurry-up call was made on the probate judge and county attorney who donned their street clothes in lieu of their night attire and upon arriving at the court house set the wheels of law in motion. The group entered a plea of guilty and were bound over to the district court. Bonds for their appearance was fixed at $175, which they put up in cash and departed for their domiciliary residences. 22 /


/ June 3, 2021

By Lyndsie Kiebert Reader Staff

“Naps ruin me for the rest of the day.” Odds are, most readers can relate to the above statement. I used to as well. Since turning 6 or 7 years old, naps have become a rarity in my life, induced only by lazy weekends or college all-nighters — until recently. I suppose I have the pandemic partially to thank. Being laid off — then working from home — bent time in ways I’d never experienced. My daily routine started to move away from the traditions of society and toward a truer reflection of my brain’s natural inner workings. I started sitting at my desk by 6 a.m., having lunch around 10 a.m., showering at 2 p.m., doing chores in the afternoon and taking a walk before dinner. Over the past year, the humdrum of my day-to-day existence took on a ritual feel, and now I have a hard time believing that I can go back. A large part of that daily ritual was allowing myself the reprieve of a short afternoon nap, and that’s not something I plan on giving up anytime soon. As it turns out, the art of the nap is about brevity and environment. According to the Sleep Foundation, the ideal nap for recharging yourself for the rest of the day is 10-20 minutes — long enough to achieve relaxation, but not deep sleep. The second key to napping success is creating a space — both physically and mentally — where sleep is possible. Tips include setting an alarm to make sure you don’t slip into an unintentional hour-long snooze; napping halfway between when you wake up and when you plan to head to bed; picking a cool, dark, comfortable place; putting aside stress with a breathing exercise or

STR8TS Solution

quick brain-dump onto paper; and, finally, setting an intention for your nap. What is the goal? Stay up later to work on a project? Give your body some time to recoup from a busy week? Experts say that setting goals could make for easier napping. My naps don’t follow all the rules; but, then again, neither does my DIY schedule. I tend to go for a 20-minute shut-eye session once or twice a week, usually on the couch, definitely with my dog. I set an alarm, drink some water, and sometimes queue up a relaxing video or playlist. Most often, this routine results in a second burst of energy for the day. Sometimes, I hit snooze and take another few minutes. I figure that if my body needs it, and I have the time, why not? The Sleep Foundation does acknowledge that naps are not for everyone, and can even be “counterproductive” for some — especially those who struggle with falling and staying asleep for at least seven hours each night. Additionally, while for some people naps can help improve emotional health, it can lead to depression in others.

“Wake me when it’s dinnertime.” Photo by Ben Olson. I also recognize that not everyone has the privilege of having a place to nap in the middle of a workday. Still, a weekly Sunday nap sounds like an act of self-love that many people could enjoy. Listen to your body and do what feels right. I’m glad I did.

Crossword Solution

Sudoku Solution A good way to threaten somebody is to light a stick of dynamite. Then you call the guy and hold the burning fuse up to the phone. “Hear that?” you say. “That’s dynamite, baby.”

Solution on page 22

Solution on page 22


Woorf tdhe Week

By Bill Borders

/SKAHY-lahrk/ [verb] 1. to frolic; sport.

“Old Man Johnson came out and yelled for the boys to stop skylarking in the yard and get their chores done.” Corrections: In the story “Expect limited access to Pend d’Oreille Bay Trail parking area and trailhead through summer,” in the May 27 edition of the Reader, we inadvertently made a reference to the City Drinking Water Treatment Plant as the “wastewater treatment plant.” Apologies for the error. It’s certainly not good to confuse wastewater with drinking water. —ZH

Copyright www.mirroreyes.com

Laughing Matter

CROSSWORD ACROSS 1. Tranquility 6. Expletive 11. Fire 12. Unassisted 15. Sneaks 16. Primly 17. An unskilled actor 18. Avoiding detection 20. Charge 21. Sweeping story 23. Midway between white and black 24. Photos 25. Greek cheese 26. Beer 27. An enclosed conduit 28. Flower stalk 29. Poetic dusk 30. Sources of ore 31. Blabbering 34. Different 36. Cap 37. Female sheep (plural) 41. Tailless stout-bodied amphibian 42. Liability 43. Following 44. At a distance 45. Quash 46. The thin fibrous bark 47. Cover 48. Yearner 51. Scarlet 52. Nonsectarian

Solution on page 22 54. Pillaging 56. Laic 57. Graphic symbols 58. Ancient Roman magistrate 59. Marsh plant

DOWN 1. Protective wall 2. A Christian recluse 3. Citrus drink 4. Policemen 5. At one time (archaic) 6. Type of shorebird

7. Accord 8. Impetuous 9. Female sibling 10. Building 13. Chooses by voting 14. Colors 15. Cooks 16. Incidental 19. Heron 22. Itch reliever 24. Strong and sharp 26. Grizzly 27. Cacophony 30. Glove 32. Regulation (abbrev.) 33. Work hard 34. Bureau

35. Malign 38. Donning 39. Cost 40. Ancient Greek unit of length 42. Covet 44. Beers 45. Corrupt 48. Sandwich shop 49. Anagram of “Sire” 50. Dash 53. Muck 55. Detachable container

June 3, 2021 /


/ 23














*Particulate Matter (PM) is a mixture of solid particles and liquid droplets found in the air.

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That's why we've upgraded the majority of our locomotive fleet to more energy-efficient technologies. And it's why we continue to improve our operations and implement new practices to further increase energy efficiency across our entire network.

Learn more about the environmental benefits of freight rail at BNSFNorthwest.com.


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Judge rules in favor of city of Sandpoint and Festival in second gun suit. Gov. Brad Little and Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin exchange executive...


Judge rules in favor of city of Sandpoint and Festival in second gun suit. Gov. Brad Little and Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin exchange executive...

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